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Gene Editing for Good

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Gene Editing for Good

How CRISPR Could Transform Global Development

Foreign Affairs,

5 min read
5 take-aways
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Gene editing could help the world tackle some of its greatest challenges.

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CRISPR gene-editing technology has taken the scientific world by storm. Using this technology, which allows scientists to insert, modify or delete genes in an organism, is not a risk-free endeavor. Yet according to Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, failing to take advantage of gene editing’s great potential to help the world’s poorest people would be a “tragedy.” Writing in Foreign Affairs, Gates makes a case for using CRISPR and other gene-editing techniques on a global scale to promote food security and fight disease.


Gene-editing technologies, among them CRISPR, have the potential to help eradicate some of the world’s most long-standing health and development problems. Gene editing allows scientists to alter an organism’s DNA in a highly targeted way to favor certain traits. Applying the technology to agriculture, for example, can help create nutrient-rich, highly productive, drought- and pest-resistant crop varieties. In sub-Saharan Africa, where 60% of the population farms for a living, increased crop yields could pull millions out of extreme poverty and help the continent reduce its dependence on food imports.


About the Author

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the founder of Microsoft. 

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